Hi, Erica! In addition to being a graduate and current student of QC Makeup Academy, tell our readers a little bit more about yourself!

My name is Erica, but some call me Starr. I’ve been married for almost 9 years. I’m a mom of three, and one of my children has special needs. I love to play with makeup and create new looks! As you’ve already mentioned, I’ve graduated from two QC Makeup Academy certification courses and am currently enrolled in three more.

How did you get into the world of professional makeup artistry?

To be honest, I’ve always loved makeup and playing with people’s hair. In high school (and after), I used to do people’s hair and makeup for various special events. The chance to do a bridal application was actually what gave me an even deeper newfound love for makeup. From there, I started looking for a professional school.

Prior to getting professional training, how had you learned makeup?

I never had any training before starting courses with QC Makeup Academy. I’d google “hooded eye tutorial” or “eye liner how to” and teach myself based off what I found online. I picked up some skills along the way but wanted to learn makeup correctly.

QC Makeup Academy graduate, Erica Cano photo

Why did you decide to enroll in an online makeup school, rather than a brick-and-mortar one?

I chose to do online schooling because I focus better without a lot of people interrupting classes. An online setting allows me to zero in on my work without being disrupted. I can turn on music while studying or reading the books. I can lay out my assignments and have the space I need, versus a small school desk. Another perk is that I don’t have to deal with people playing games on their laptops in class.

How did you find out about QC Makeup Academy and what made you decide to enroll?

Good old Google! I did my due diligence in researching the school. We were able to see all the good reviews, as well as get a peak into the courses and course materials on QC Makeup Academy’s website. From there, I knew QC had a quality program. So, all that was left to do was decide when I wanted to start my classes!

You’ve since graduated from QC Makeup Academy’s Master Makeup Artistry and Skincare programs. In what ways has this training strengthened your skill-set and made you a better artist?

The Skincare Course made a HUGE difference – not only for my skin, but also in my skills as a makeup artist. Now I can look at someone’s skin and understand what prep work I need to do in order to make the makeup last.

The Master Makeup Artistry Course changed me in such a profound way, too. From matching foundation to creating a beautiful smoky eye, I learned it all! I’ve been able to train my eye to any see micro changes that need adjusting, as well as having an eye for it on others looks as well.

Erica Cano global beauty portfolio before and after images

You’re also currently enrolled in QC Makeup Academy’s Global Beauty Workshop, Hair Styling Essentials Workshop, and Virtual Makeup Training mini course. Why do you feel that these additional skills and qualifications will make your makeup career all the more successful?

Global Beauty was an easy decision. I live in a Metropolitan area that has every nationality you could think of. In my opinion, every makeup artist should be able to work on all skin colors and types. QC’s Global Beauty Course helps you with that.

Hair Styling Essentials was a course I took more for myself. However, I plan to use what I learn to help create bridal looks and offer hair styling alongside my business’s makeup services. And, of course, the Virtual Makeup Training Course is extremely helpful because it will teach me how to make revenue virtually!

How useful have the various course materials, assignments, and tutor feedback been? In what ways has your tutor feedback (specifically, the feedback you received from Nathan Johnson) helped you grow stronger as a makeup artist and skincare consultant?

The course materials, videos, and assignments provided by QC Makeup Academy were all very well-thought-out. The assignments are meant to push you and make you practice before submitting your work. It’s especially important to practice and get real-world training. Otherwise, your grade will reflect what you turn in.

The feedback I received from Nathan Johnson was exceptionally good. He knows how to provide motivating praise, while also pointing out the mistakes and changes that need to be made. Moreover, he also knows how to encourage you towards real growth. The tutor feedback provided at QC Makeup Academy really makes you look deeper into your work, so you can push yourself to try even harder. In my experience, Nathan has really been an awesome tutor!

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned so far from QC Makeup Academy’s professional certification training?

One of the lessons that was important for me to learn was taking constructive criticism and using it to benefit me. Sometimes, people take constructive feedback too harshly and get upset. But that is not what it’s meant to do! If you use it wisely, you will grow tremendously. Trust me on this one!

Learning the basics of makeup artistry was also super beneficial for me. People tend to rush through it because they may feel they are past that, or it is beneath them. But (and I can’t stress this enough) the basics are the most important thing to know – and know correctly.

Erica Cano portfolio image 3

As the parent of a special needs child with autism, you’re incredibly passionate about autism awareness. What advice would you give to other parents who have special needs children – as well as dreams of starting a career in the beauty industry?

Being an Autism mom is incredibly challenging. There are lots of good days and lots of bad ones. But as is the case with any special needs children, and I’m sure other moms would agree: it’s worth it as a parent to see the world through your child’s eyes.

I’m here to tell you that becoming a makeup artist while having a special needs child is NOT out of reach, fellow mommas. Not with QC Makeup Academy there to help you! In fact, it’s actually been surprisingly easy for me. A big reason for this is because QC’s courses are self-led. YOU pick your hours and the time spent on your assignments. Personally, I do my homework during the kids’ school hours and when the baby is asleep.

If I can do it, you can do it, too!

You’ve recently joined QC’s team of Student Ambassadors. As an Ambassador, what’s the #1 thing you want both aspiring and experienced makeup artists to know about QC Makeup Academy?

As a Student Ambassador, I feel it’s important for people to know that QC Makeup Academy is worth every dang penny! The school itself is extremely easy to work with. The tutors have years of experience and are very thorough in their feedback.

Honestly, if you are wanting to join, add the Skincare program to your list of courses! Heighten your career with a better understanding of skin and see how much better your makeup applications will be. Thank me later. 😉

Tell us a little about your beauty business, Erica Starr Makeup Artist & Skincare. What services do you currently offer, and what services do you want to offer in the future?

I currently offer makeup applications for bridal and other special occasions, as well as virtual skincare consultations. Once I finish the Hair Styling Essential Course, I want to offer hair styling services for special occasions, such as bridal up-dos. In the future, I would love to work on set.

Erica Cano portfolio image 4

What are your top career goals as a makeup artist?

As a makeup artist, my top career goals are to thrive and do some charity work, maybe by doing makeup for a special needs event. Also, I really want to become successful in bridal makeup. There is just something so special about being a bride’s makeup artist! Maybe it’s the way they feel afterwards and how happy they are for their big day. Either way, getting to be a part of their special day makes me happy!

What is the TOP piece of advice you’d give aspiring makeup artists who are thinking of starting their career in 2021?

If you’re thinking of starting your makeup career, my biggest advice is this: take your time on your courses and assignments. Do not turn in first tries!

Also, use the QC Makeup Academy Virtual Classroom to your advantage. This Facebook group has tutors and fellow peers who can help critique your work. Plus, all of QC’s Student Ambassadors are also in there – and they all have mad skills! Asking questions in the Virtual Classroom and using the search tool will give you an advantage in finding answers. Trust me, the search tool will be your best friend.

Inspired by Erica’s story? Start writing your OWN by enrolling with QC Makeup Academy today!

Author Sloane Seguin

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